This afternoon’s turn back time sees us reflect on the most recent Superbike Classic TT, that wasn’t short of drama and intense competition.
My race report from back in August of 2019, detailing David Johnson’s first Mountain Course victory reads as follows:
The 2019 Classic TT Races culminated with a fantastic, drama filled RST Superbike race, which saw David Johnson claim a very popular maiden Classic TT triumph.
Involved throughout in an evenly contested battle for class honours with Team Classic Suzuki’s Michael Dunlop, Australian star Johnson trailed the 19 times TT winner at the end of lap 1, by just over 1.9 seconds.
Six seconds clear at Ramsey Hairpin, by the end of lap two Dunlop’s race lead extended to almost nine seconds, holding an advantage of 8.871 seconds over Superstock TT rostrum finisher Johnson.
After the scheduled pit stops, it was all change out front at Glen Helen on lap three with Johnson now leading Dunlop by 1.755 seconds.
By Ramsey Hairpin though Dunlop was back into the race lead, which he maintained to the end of lap three, moving almost five seconds ahead of Team ACR (Alasdair Cowan Racing) Kawasaki mounted Johnson.
Enjoying a 13 second race lead on the fourth and final lap at the Bungalow, it looked like International roads legend Dunlop had wrapped up another Superbike Classic TT title.
But then drama a plenty was to arise prior to the next timing sector at Cronk Ny Mona, with Dunlop been a confirmed race retirement at Hillberry.
After Dunlop’s bad luck, this allowed Johnson to regain the race lead which he held to the chequered flag to secure a first Classic TT, Mountain Course affiliated race success.
Victorious by 41.267 seconds, it’s fair to say that the amiable, laid back Adelaide racer is one of the most popular Classic TT champion’s since the events original inception in 2013.
Race runner-up behind Johnson was Irish Road Race Superbike Champion Derek Sheils (Greenall Racing Kawasaki), who got the better of 2013 Lightweight TT winner, lead non Kawasaki mounted competitor James Hillier (Oxford Racing Ducati/Louigi Moto) after a gripping, high quality last lap battle for second place, which saw them covered by just over 1.5 seconds.
Milenco by Padgetts Conor Cummins piloting the illustrious, great sounding YZR 500 Yamaha steed placed fourth, whilst Herheim Racing’s Ryan Kneen, Mistral Racing’s Michael Sweeney gained very creditable respective fifth, sixth place finishes.
Best of The Rest, Attrition Rate High:
Wrapping up the first ten finishers from an extremely attritional race were Rob Hodson (Greenall Racing), IRRC Superbike series winner Davey Todd (Milenco by Padgetts), Craig Neve (Team ACR) and Michal ‘Indi’ Dokoupil (Cookson Racing).
Added impressive results were banked by the likes of Andy Farrell (11th), Wiz Norton Racing’s Richard Wilson (13th), Josh Daley (14th), Paul ‘Potchy’ Williams (15th), Darren Cooper (18th), Allan Brodie (19th), Michael Booth (22nd) and Ultra Lightweight Manx GP practice week pace setter Dan Ingham (23rd).
As aforementioned the attrition rate within the four lap race was extremely high with notable non finishers including Team York Suzuki’s Gary Johnson & Sam West, Team Classic Suzuki’s Phil Crowe & Danny Webb, Paul Jordan, Gary Vines and Locate.im Junior Classic TT victor Jamie Coward.
If you’d like to learn more facts about the Classic TT, improve your knowledge on the incredible sport that is pure road racing or simply enjoy a good two wheel racing themed read, why not check out Road Racing News Facts book, it’s highly recommended!
Photo credit: Mark Corlett
Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou